'Joker' Tops 'The Dark Knight' as the Most Oscar-Nominated Superhero Movie of All Time
By John Boone
Images via Warner Bros.
The Academy doesn't nominate the superhero movie you need, but the superhero movie you deserve. Or whatever that quote is.
Either way, Jokerhas made Oscar history, topping The Dark Knightas the most-nominated superhero movie ever. Christopher Nolan's pièce de Batman résistance set the record with eight nominations in 2009. During Monday's Oscar nominations ceremony, Joker upped that by three.
The Joaquin Phoenix-starring twist on the Clown Prince of Crime's origin story earned 11 nominations in total: Best Picture, Best Actor for Phoenix, Best Director for Todd Phillips, Best Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
Joker marks Phoenix's first venture into the comic book movie-verse, which he signed onto because, he told ET, "It was complex in a way that other movies I flirted with weren't, so I thought that it was going to be challenging for me as an actor. I thought it was going to be challenging for the audience. That's exciting to me."
The Dark Knight's haul -- which included nominations for Best Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects -- held the record for more than a decade. At the 81st Academy Awards, it ended up winning two of those nominations, for Sound Editing and a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker.
Notably, The Dark Knight missed out on a Best Picture nomination.
A superhero movie wouldn't be nominated for the Academy's top award until Black Panther broke into the Best Picture race in 2019. Marvel's Wakandan blockbuster was one nomination shy of tying The Dark Knight, earning seven nominations in total but ultimately winning three. (For Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.)
Could Joker make history two times over and be the first superhero movie to actually win Best Picture? This year's winners will be announced when the 92nd Annual Academy Awards airs live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.